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PE at the Prep School

Throughout the school, sport forms a vital part of the curriculum. Naturally curious and eager to learn, children are encouraged to develop skills, discipline and a passion for sport as well as understand and recognise the mental, emotional and physiological advantages it brings.

The fundamentals of sport

Before children can begin to play sport of any kind, it’s crucial the fundamental skills of agility, balance and co-ordination are taught, encouraged and developed through games and PE.  From Reception through to Year 1 and 2 in the School’s Pre-Prep children are encouraged to recognise how their body feels when they play sport, how to become aware and co-ordinated in their movements and what those movements can help them to achieve.  Without the basic skills it can’t be hoped for children to be able to process specific sport requirements, and so the first three years at School focus on these fundamentals.

Winning and losing

We are all competitive naturally, but from the minute children are introduced to sport at Woodbridge, they are taught and encouraged to recognise that it’s not just about winning and losing.  Recognising the importance of why we play, how we play and how we behave before, during and after sport, is as much a part of the teaching as the way we hold equipment and make our bodies move to achieve outcomes.  For children, the biggest part of sport is fun.  Working together with others as part of a team, passing, moving and supporting one another – emotionally and through physical actions that move the game along – are enjoyable skills that we teach each and every day in School.

The benefits beyond physical

Of course, there are health benefits to participating in and enjoying sports, and we understand the health and physiological benefits – but we also know, recognise and encourage the role sport plays in children’s emotional and mental development and well-being.  Children enjoy bonding with friends, enjoying face-to-face interaction and encouraging the fostering of relationships.  Confidence and resilience are also key factors in sports development and contribution, not only in the abilities developed but in the enjoyment of sport and participation, understanding winning, losing, mistakes and learning from them.

Introduction to competitive sport

Having learned and developed the fundamental skills, familiarised themselves with some of the equipment used in sports, from Year 3 onwards children are introduced to individual competitive sports.  As well as interhouse matches, in-school tournaments and after school clubs, as a member of IAPS Woodbridge participates in sporting competitions for U9s and U11s where children can compete in local regional and national competitions.

Ensuring positive experiences

Given the age of the children participating, Woodbridge takes great efforts to ensure positive experiences by matching children to appropriate sports, positions and challenges at any friendly match.  Of course, children have to learn and develop, but if a child feels overwhelmed it’s likely their experience will discourage them from participating in future.  Children are always encouraged to be the best they can be, but also to be kind and considerate, as part of our School values – and this is as prevalent in sport as any other part of School life.

Sporting talent

Whether it’s hockey, swimming, cricket, football, tennis, netball or rugby, children often quite naturally prefer one sport to another.  Through sports lessons, competitions, matches and our annual sports day event, natural ability and talent become clear.  We encourage all children as well as those showing particular gravitation towards one sport or another, suggesting opportunities to develop skills further outside of School with suggestions for local clubs and groups that can support the desire to improve and participate.

Meet the team

Mark Wheelhouse

Mr Wheelhouse, a former International and National League hockey player, teaches PE alongside his team at the Prep School, which comprises games lessons as well as teaching and coaching specific sports.  He joined Woodbridge in 2016 having previously worked as a Head of Prep PE at another independent school, taught sport at a secondary school in Stockport near Manchester and held the position of School Sports Co-ordinator for six primary schools, a middle and an upper school in Suffolk.  Bringing a wealth of experience, not only in competitive sports but in teaching, Mr Wheelhouse is a firm favourite with the children at School, ensuring games and sports lessons are as much about fun as they are about learning and development.

The Setting

Woodbridge students get to develop their individual talents and team skills in some of the finest facilities in the region. To take a closer look at the School’s top-class amenities, click through to our section dedicated to exploring the School.

Results and Fixtures

Check fixtures and see how our teams and individuals have done in the latest competitions.

Upcoming Events

Please log into our School Calendar (SOCS) to check when students will next be playing matches or taking part in competitions.

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